If you thought the males of our species were nothing more than a sweaty, swirling crush of mindless testosterone and back hair, the latest science says you’re right on the money. Researchers in Belgium were able to affect the buying decisions of men simply by hinting vaguely in the general vicinity of boobies:
In the study, detailed in the Journal of Consumer Research, men alternately fondled t-shirts and bras (which were not being worn during the test). After touching the bras, men valued the future less and the present more, said lead researcher Bram Van Den Bergh of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. Viewing ads with women in bikinis had the same effect.
The result is that men seek immediate gratification immediately after seeing images of scantily-clad ladies. Reached for comment, the advertising industry said “No shit. Really?”
But here’s an interesting thing. The researchers say it’s not the distraction caused by all those hooters and whatnot that does it. To the contrary, men get slightly smarter and more creative after looking at bikini-clad ladies. The problem is that our “doin’ it” gratification tubes are all intertwined with our “want donuts” and “Red Sox are awesome” gratification tubes:
The researchers conclude that there is one common appetite system in the brain monitoring our desire for a host of pleasures from sweets to pretty faces, alcohol to lotto winnings. When it is stimulated by, say, a sexy picture or the smell of baked goods, we experience a general craving for anything pleasant. “Basically, you just want to be rewarded,” explained Barbara Briers, a researcher at HEC Paris School of Management. Briers, who has conducted related research, was not involved with this study.
I think all of these studies are completely bogus.
Here, I’ll prove it to you. First, look at this:
Now go buy a Pax Arcana T-shirt.
Did it work?
The Bikini Effect Makes Men Impulsive [LiveScience]